Create a Romantic Sunset Look With Photoshop

Create a Romantic Sunset Look With Photoshop

I have always been impressed by the surreal, peaceful lightings of scenic places I see in films. Unfortunately, I do not get to see them in real life (yet). However, with Photoshop, I am able to create such lightings with one of my favourite scenery.

Opera House Sunset


You will need an image similar to this. Preferably, one which you can clearly see the skyline.

Opera House

Step 1:

Use soft brush (opacity 10%, black colour), and paint 1 to 2 times below the sky area. Then using the same brush opacity, change the colour to #ad651a and go over the sky area (you may use a lighter colour, but try not to make it go any darker). You will have something similar like the image below.
Opera Houses

Step 2.

Now click on the icon beside the quick mask. This will create a new fill or adjustment layer. Choose Curves and adjust the graph to the picture below.

Photoshop Curves

Result after adjustment of curves:

Photoshop Curves

Step 3.

Add a new layer below the Curves layer, Set foreground colour to Black. Fill it with Black (Alt+Backspace).

Opera House Black

Bring down the opacity of the Black filled layer to about 60% (so that you know where to place the lens flare in the image). Go to Filter > Render > Lens Flare. Adjust to the settings below.

Photoshop Lens Flare

Step 4.

Go to Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Radius 10 pixels.

Photo Gaussian Blur

Bring the opacity level of the Black  layer up to 100%.
Now, we are going to create light rays from the flare.

Choose Soft Round Brush with the color #ffe01a, opacity 10%. Start brushing down  from the point of the flare, keep brushing down until you have something like this.


Go to Blending Mode > Linear Dodge (Add).


Step 5.

Duplicate the layer and change blending mode to Screen. Bring the opacity down of the layer to about 40%. This is what you will get.

Photoshop Blending Mode

If you think the image is still too dark, you may duplicate it again and adjust its opacity level.

Photoshop Blending Mode

Using the same brush colour #ffe01a, opacity 10% or lesser, work on the skyline area, so that the lighting is blend in nicely. You may also use the eraser tool to erase some light on the opera house (if it gets too washed out).

Step 6.

We are almost there. Select the whole canvas (Ctrl + A), Edit > Copy Merged (Shift + Ctrl + C), Open a new canvas (Ctrl + N), Paste the image on this new canvas (Ctrl + V).

We are now going to fix the blue portion at the right hand side of sky.

Sky Mistake

Use the Lasso Tool, Feather: 2 Px. Select the above the blue part of the sky. Copy (Ctrl + C) and Paste (Ctrl +P).


This will cover the blue patch in the sky.

Sky Adjust

You may wish to adjust the Levels, Curves and Colour Balance on the final image like what I have done below. Hope you like this tutorial.

Opera House Sunset Final

Charlotte’s interest is in web interface and design as well as motion graphics. Her absorption with her work is mostly due to her attention to detail and passion for the world of design. Winding down after work, which consumes much of her time; she enjoys traveling, exploring new places, gastronomy, and fashion.


  1. / Reply

    Stumbled on this site have to say its very good site, authors are too talented.. :)

  2. / Reply

    Interesting post, you really made the place very romantic :D

  3. / Reply

    This is amazing, its so realistic. I have a couple ideas for some cool shots.

    Jenaer Glass Teapot

    • ysangkok,
    • June 14, 2010
    / Reply

    imho not that realistic, sun is not very convincing…

  4. / Reply

    That is absolutely gorgeous. THanks for the great tut on making the sunset. It’s a neat effect.

  5. / Reply

    Thanks for sharing this method. Cool looking pictures.

  6. / Reply

    Cool looking pictures, look natural too. thanks.

  7. / Reply

    The result looks very interesting …
    I still think that in After Effects is much faster

  8. / Reply

    Great tutorial … thanks!

  9. / Reply

    Amazing !

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